Both carded a 3-under 69 and sit at 6-under 138 after 36 holes, one shot in front of Winnipegs Rob McMillan and Monday qualifier Paul Scaletta (Glen Allen, Va.). Rookie David Hearn of Brantford, ON, the leader after the opening round, is at 4-under 140.
Kontak, a five-time Canadian Tour champion and winner of the 1998 Order of Merit crown, hit 15 of 18 greens in regulation and has used his length off the tee to play the par-5 holes at 3-under.
Im playing solid and not making a lot of mistakes, said the 30-year-old, who fired a 58 in a mini-tour event earlier this year. You have to play smart around this golf course. Im feeling confident right now, and at least Ive given myself a chance.
Friday featured an intriguing matchup when Kontak and Hank Kuehne, two of the longest hitters on tour, were paired together. While most would have seen this as a potential showdown between the big guns, Kontak was downplaying the five hours he spent with the 1998 U.S. amateur champion on the 7035-yard layout.
I was telling (caddie) Billy (Spencer), had I been 26-years-old I probably would have chased him all over the lot. But Hank is ridiculously long. He plays his game, I play mine, and well see where we are when this is all over.
For the second day in a row, gusting winds swirled throughout Barefoot, keeping birdies at a premium. But Reese, who has missed just one fairway in regulation over the first two rounds, was consistent again Friday and is going to keep the same approach for the weekend.
I felt like I put myself in good position all day, and you have to be good with your tee shots here or you are going to have problems, said Reese, who is coming off a tie for seventh at last weeks Michelin Ixtapa Classic. I have made some putts to keep rounds going, but Ive also had to make some up and downs. This is a tough golf course.
The second-year Tour player played a bogey-free second round, and has just one bogey over the first 36 holes. Asked what he may do differently on the weekend, Reese used the if-it-isnt-broke-dont-fix-it-approach.
Its going to be difficult for anyone to take it real low out here, so Im going with the same game plan. Ive played some good golf this week, and hopefully it continues (Saturday). Ill try to play fairways and greens and stay out of trouble.
McMillan missed the first cut of the season but has gradually improved after taking most of this past winter off. With Derek Gillespie boasting the best showing by a Canadian this year (2nd at the Scottsdale Swing at Eagle Mountain), McMillan feels it is time for the tours homegrown players to make a charge.
We have a lot of good players in Canada, and the more Canadians that can win the better, he said. I havent been razor-sharp this year after the layoff, but it is getting better. Every guy out here is trying to peak in October (for PGA Tour Qualifying School), so hopefully I will be ready. If that isnt the attitude you have, then you shouldnt be playing this game.
After struggling to a 5-over 77 Thursday, the 23-year-old Gillespie bounced back with a second round 67, enabling him to play on the weekend.
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